Q: My wife and I have wanted kids for years, but just never seem to get around to it. Sometimes I think I don’t want to bring a child into this mess of a world. Is it ever worth it?
A: People have probably been asking that same question for thousands of years! It seems that the world is almost always on the verge of some cataclysmic catastrophe.
If you focus on everything that’ going wrong or could go wrong, you’d probably be hard-pressed to find any reason to go on living, much less have kids.
So, assuming that there will always be “bad” things happening in the world, we can shift our attention to also realizing there will always be “good” things happening, as well.
For every war there’s a celebration somewhere. For every grisly death there’s a miraculous birth. For every atrocity committed there is also a kindness shown I am convinced that this is how it works. Cosmic yin yang—eternal balancing.
Have you thought about why you want kids (or why not?). If it’s a matter of “Well, I’m 32, so it’s time—everybody has kids,” I encourage you to rethink your logic. If your thoughts are that you want to raise your child to make a contribution to the world, I think that may be a little more conscious thinking. Plus, it’s a lot of fun (and a lot of work - remember yin yang?)
You seem to have a good head on your shoulders, but having kids changes absolutely everything. You lose sleep, you get frustrated, impatient, worried, scared. They’re expensive, you have to sacrifice a lot, and it doesn’t end when they graduate from high school. They’re yours for the rest of your life.
Those are serious things to consider, but on the other end of the spectrum are the hilarious stories you create together, the unabashed laughing you’ll share, the awe-inspiring situations you witness, and the indescribable feeling of holding your child closely and not believing you are capable of loving someone so much.
So while the world may indeed seem like it’s a little messed up right now, if your heart urges you to have a child, listen closely.
Think of your pros and cons, and if the pros feel strong enough, that may be your signal to jump off the child high dive.
If not? That’s all right, too. The world is full of adventures. Yours may not include children, but then, they may.
Either way, you both decide.
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